Climate-related security risks in the Middle East

Authored by: Dan Smith , Florian Krampe

Routledge Handbook on Middle East Security

Print publication date:  February  2019
Online publication date:  February  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138749894
eBook ISBN: 9781315180113
Adobe ISBN:


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In this chapter we illustrate that the conflict and security impacts of climate and environmental change are spatially and temporally different among different countries in the Middle East. We argue that climate change is part of the picture in conflict escalation, though it is not only climate change that is important in explaining what happened. Equally significant are its immediate impact on communities, the response to it and the decisions made by government, communities, individuals, the private sector, armed militias, regional organizations et al. Our three cases – Egypt, Syria and Yemen – show that the indirect impacts of climate change can have substantial interaction with social, economic and political processes. They can have that impact across great geographical distance and unfold over varying periods of time. And they can create severe security challenges in the Middle East.

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